Although graduate student Will Nediger's main research focus is on syntactic theory and second language acquisition, he also does work on the interface between linguistics and literature. Based on work in this second research area of his, Will just published a paper in the comparative literature journal Mosaic. Will describes his paper as follows:
"I had a paper published in Mosaic ... titled Whorfianism in Colonial Encounters from Melville to Mieville, examining how the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis informs descriptions of colonial encounters in three novels: Herman Melville's Typee, Juan Jose Saer's The Witness, and China Mieville's Embassytown.
The full bibliographic information for this article, including an abstract, is given below. Congratulations, Will!
Nediger, W. 2014. Whorfianism in Colonial Encounters from Melville to Mieville. Mosaic 47(3), 19-34.
In linguistics, Whorfianism is a name given to the idea that language determines thought. This essay analyzes three novels (Herman Melville’s Typee, Juan José Saer’s The Witness, and China Miéville’s Embassytown) to examine how Whorfianism influences the description of “exotic” languages and cultures in accounts of colonial encounters.